Gaming Regulation 001 which is due to come into effect soon was approved by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on July 20, 2016. It is the first legal instrument issued since the National Lottery Act was amended by the National Legislature and published into handbills by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a press release, the regulation which now goes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for printing into handbills sets the standard for procedure of application and license fees, as well as authorizes the NLA to issue levies and penalties on all gaming activities including casinos, sports betting, slot machines, raffles, table games and scratch & win gambles and all games of chance within the Republic of Liberia.
The approved regulation which was formulated by the management of the National Lottery Authority, gives the NLA the mandate to monitor and regulate the gaming sector of the country.
The legal instrument also gives the NLA the power to monitor rules and guidelines to protect the exploitation of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair, transparent, and accountable manner.
At the same time, the new NLA regulation also empowers the entity to, among others, approve locations for casinos, scratch & win games, validate companies’ license period, and regulate gaming (slot) machines, promotional competition, and charitable games throughout the country.
Since the resuscitation of the National Lottery Corporation in 2012 and the amendment of its Act that brought into the existence the current National Lottery Authority in 2014, the entity has been a toothless bulldog with no statutory legislation to evolve standing regulations that empower the entity to enforce its mandate.
The coming into effect of regulation 001 gives the authority complete control over the gaming and betting sector of the country , something that has been absent since its resuscitation as portions of its mandate were being usurped by other public functionaries.
Observers believe that the coming into effect of this regulation opens a new horizon for the NLA’s viability to raise revenue for government and also raise money to cater to the needs of disabled organizations and other less fortunate groups in the country.
Meanwhile, the NLA is encouraging all operators of games-of-chance and interested individuals and business entities to immediately proceed at the temporary headquarters of the Authority located in Zubah Town, Duport Road Paynesville to pick up a copy of the approved regulation for perusal and action, the release concluded.